WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Mozart: Rare Choral Works / Patterson, Gloriae Dei Cantores


Release Date: 04/25/2006 
Label:  Gloriae Dei Cantores   Catalog #: 3363   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Wayne SchumanPatrick ClarkAmanda Dawn OrtolaniEstelle Cole,   ... 
Conductor:  Richard K. Pugsley
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gloriae Dei CantoresVox Caeli Sinfonia
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Low Stock: Currently 3 or fewer in stock. Usually ships in 24 hours, unless stock becomes depleted.  
On sale! $32.98
CD:  $29.99
Low Stock



Notes and Editorial Reviews

An important anniversary year of a famous composer always brings out recording projects that purport to offer something unusual or rare or somehow different from the mainstream releases. Of course, many don't live up to their billing, or worse, fall short in purely musical value. This is one of the more successful and thoughtfully programmed collections to appear so far in this "Mozart Year", and although many of the works featured have been recorded multiple times--and quite well--the high quality of the performances here, and the presence of the truly and inexplicably "rare" oratorio Davidde penitente, makes this set a very attractive and musically satisfying listen.


Of course, not everything here
Read more is top-drawer Mozart--several of the pieces are relatively early works--but even the second-tier pieces readily reveal the trademarks of genius, whether in the orchestral writing (the tidily scored Regina coeli K. 108, from 1771), the mastery of polyphony (Misericordias Domini), or, of course, in the unsurpassed melodic invention, evident throughout, from the earliest to latest compositions. What's interesting is how you can pick up compositional devices in works Mozart wrote in Salzburg in 1771 that are still recognizable in his last choral pieces written in Vienna 20 years later.


As mentioned, the performances are very good, especially the finely executed, energetic, vibrant choral ensemble singing and the equally dynamic and tightly-knit orchestral accompaniment, expertly conducted by Richard Pugsley. In these areas, there are no weaknesses. My only disappointment lies in the vocal solos, where in several cases (the two Litanies, in particular) the technical demands of Mozart's arias just prove too much for the non-professional singers drawn from the ranks of the choir. While certainly not fatal to the recording's overall high value (the choral singing is really terrific!), more polished execution of the substantial and significant solo sections would have prompted an even more enthusiastic recommendation for these richly rewarding, generously programmed CDs. And when the competition for several of the works in question comes from the likes of Barbara Bonney, Christoph Prégardien, Uwe Heilmann, and Thomas Hampson, the bar is set fairly high.


That said, it's wonderful to have a new and very solid performance of Mozart's Davidde penitente. A reworking of music from his unfinished C minor Mass, with some additional original material, this 45-minute piece (with libretto by da Ponte) features some very impressive solo and choral music, including some challenging, operatic-style arias. Although it's labeled an "oratorio", it doesn't have the depth and cohesive dramatic import of the genre's great masterpieces by Haydn or Handel. Nevertheless, this performance, with some nice contributions by soprano Kathy Schuman, is a highlight--and the work absolutely deserves respect from today's choirs looking to celebrate the best of Mozart's vocal music.


The recording, made in Gloriae Dei Cantores' home venue, the Church of the Transfiguration in Orleans, Massachusetts, is expertly engineered, offering realistic, detailed choral sound, properly balanced with the orchestra, in an acoustic that's warm yet enhanced with an enlivening resonance--ideal for this music. This is a set that should prove attractive to all Mozart lovers, especially valuable for its gathering together of rare works of real merit rather than rarely recorded works that should remain so. This is a real treat--an ambitious and justly rewarding addition to the Mozart recording catalog. [3/23/2006]
--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Veni Sancte Spiritus, K 47 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Wayne Schuman (Bass), Patrick Clark (Tenor), Amanda Dawn Ortolani (Soprano),
Estelle Cole (Alto)
Conductor:  Richard K. Pugsley
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gloriae Dei Cantores,  Vox Caeli Sinfonia
Period: Classical 
Written: 1768; Vienna, Austria 
2. La Betulia liberata, K 118 (74c): Del pari infeconda by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Helen Spatzeck-Olsen (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Richard K. Pugsley
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gloriae Dei Cantores,  Vox Caeli Sinfonia
Period: Classical 
Written: 1771; Salzburg, Austria 
3. La Betulia liberata, K 118 (74c): Terribile d'aspetto by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Paul Norman (Bass)
Conductor:  Richard K. Pugsley
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gloriae Dei Cantores,  Vox Caeli Sinfonia
Period: Classical 
Written: 1771; Salzburg, Austria 
4. Misericordias Domini, K 222 (205a) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Richard K. Pugsley
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gloriae Dei Cantores,  Vox Caeli Sinfonia
Period: Classical 
Written: 1775; Munich, Germany 
5. Church Sonata for Organ and Strings no 14 in C major, K 278 (271e) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  David Chalmers (Organ)
Conductor:  Richard K. Pugsley
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gloriae Dei Cantores,  Vox Caeli Sinfonia
Period: Classical 
Written: 1777; Salzburg, Austria 
6. Venite Populi, K 260 (248a) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Richard K. Pugsley
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gloriae Dei Cantores,  Vox Caeli Sinfonia
Period: Classical 
Written: 1776; Salzburg, Austria 
7. Regina coeli in C major, K 108 (74d) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Chris Helfrich (Soprano)
Conductor:  Richard K. Pugsley
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gloriae Dei Cantores,  Vox Caeli Sinfonia
Period: Classical 
Written: 1771; Salzburg, Austria 
8. Litaniae de beata Maria virgine in B flat major, K 109 (74e) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Wayne Schuman (Bass), Nathanael Reese (Tenor), Helen Spatzeck-Olsen (Mezzo Soprano),
Amanda Dawn Ortolani (Soprano)
Conductor:  Richard K. Pugsley
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gloriae Dei Cantores,  Vox Caeli Sinfonia
Period: Classical 
Written: 1771; Salzburg, Austria 
9. Church Sonata for Organ and Strings no 16 in C major, K 329 (317a) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  David Chalmers (Organ)
Conductor:  Richard K. Pugsley
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gloriae Dei Cantores,  Vox Caeli Sinfonia
Period: Classical 
Written: 1779; Salzburg, Austria 
10. Davidde penitente, K 469 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Kathy Schuman (Soprano), Amanda Dawn Ortolani (Soprano), Richard Cragg (Tenor)
Conductor:  Richard K. Pugsley
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gloriae Dei Cantores,  Vox Caeli Sinfonia
Period: Classical 
Written: 1785; Vienna, Austria 

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook